Oltrepo Radio International

Broni: A Journey Through History, Culture, and Wine in Oltrepò Pavese"

Broni, also known as "Bròn" in the Oltrepadano dialect, is an Italian municipality located in the Lombardy region, in the province of Pavia. The city is situated at the foot of the Oltrepò Pavese hills, along the former state road Padana Inferiore, and serves as the administrative center of a vast and agriculturally significant area. Broni has a population of 9,605 inhabitants, spread over an area of approximately 32 km². The city is an important crossroads connecting the plain and the hills, easily accessible from other locations in the region due to its strategic location.Broni's history dates back to Roman times when the city was a major commercial and agricultural center along the Via Emilia. Over the centuries, the city has experienced various dominations and has developed a unique local culture reflected in its monuments, cuisine, and dialects. 

Among the tourist attractions in Broni, the Sanctuary of San Contardo stands out as one of the most important points of interest. Located on the hill overlooking the town, the Collegiate Church of San Contardo takes its name from the young prince Contardo d'Este, who arrived in Broni in 1249 on his way to Santiago de Compostela. After falling seriously ill, he died in Broni, where he is still buried. A strong devotion to his figure quickly developed, with legends telling of bells ringing by themselves at the moment of his death and bright flames appearing around his body. This devotion led to him becoming the patron saint of the city. His remains rest in the Basilica of San Pietro Apostolo, elevated to the status of a minor basilica by Pope Pius XII in July 1953. In addition to the minor basilica, Broni boasts another ancient church, the Church of Santa Marta. Furthermore, you can also admire the Church of Madonna del Rio Frate. Other historical landmarks include Palazzo Arienti (the municipal seat), Villa Gallotti, Villa Maccabruni (or Villa Nuova Italia), the Contardo Ferrini Middle School (designed by architect Aldo Rossi), and the captivating Teatro Carbonetti, with a history dating back to 1885. Broni's history is also intertwined with the dialectal theater of Mario Salvaneschi (Lasarät), a witty and clever comedian. Lasarät had the ability to make everyone laugh, young and old, portraying everyday life through his art with humor that was never vulgar, direct, and complemented by extraordinary mime skills and improvisational abilities. Today, Broni is an important cultural center hosting exhibitions, concerts, and other cultural events. It is also known for its wine production, including Barbera dell'Oltrepò Pavese, Bonarda dell'Oltrepò Pavese, Pinot Nero dell'Oltrepò Pavese, and Buttafuoco. The city is home to several wineries, offering many opportunities to taste the local wines. Additionally, it's worth noting that the renowned fashion designer Giorgio Armani owns a beautiful villa on the outskirts of Broni, where he spends part of his leisure time. Lastly, Broni is an excellent destination for nature lovers and hikers, thanks to the presence of numerous hills and scenic trails. The city also provides ample opportunities for sports enthusiasts, with soccer fields, tennis courts, and other sports facilities. In summary, Broni is a city rich in history, culture, tourist attractions, and opportunities for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers. Discover more about this splendid city in the Oltrepò Pavese and enjoy an unforgettable stay.